News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

May 2, 2007

B-Sides: Smoking ban legislation in Illinois awaits Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s signature

Marshall, Ill. — Along with cigarette smoke, change was in the air inside the Corner Tavern on Wednesday afternoon.

Just as Tom Keefer sat down to eat a stacked cheeseburger and fries, bartender Tina McSchooler gave him some startling news.

“Going smoke-free, January 1,” she told him.

Keefer lit up a cigarette and shook his head.

McSchooler was referring to a decision by the Illinois Legislature to ban smoking in virtually all public indoor places, starting Jan. 1, 2008. The Illinois House overwhelmingly approved the ban 73-42 on Tuesday. A month earlier, the Senate OK’d it by a 34-23 vote. All that’s needed now is a signature from Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who says he “enthusiastically” supports the ban.

That means there will be no smoking in bars, restaurants, private clubs and most businesses.

As with any other cultural change in America, some people like it and some don’t.

The benefits seem so compellingly clear. An estimated 2,900 Illinois residents die each year from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to legislative supporters of the ban and health organizations such as the American Lung Association. People looking to grab a drink at a tavern won’t leave smelling charred. Employees and customers can work, dine and drink without breathing unwanted smoke — a right that trumps the rights of people to light up, say the ban’s supporters. Folks will be healthier, and maybe the economy’s health-care burdens will lighten.

Yet, change will come hard for many.

Keefer, a 38-year-old Marshall resident, can accept the ban on smoking in restaurants. But a smoke-free Corner Tavern is another matter.

“Restaurants, I don’t mind,” he said. “I’ll respect nonsmokers’ opinions there. But in a bar atmosphere, nobody’s making you enter the doors, so you’re subjecting yourself to it.”

Unlike 44 Illinois communities that already have local no-smoking ordinances, this concept will be new to Marshall. One reason for the statewide ban is to “level the playing field” for restaurants, bars and businesses in towns with smoking controls. Patrons, they contend, would drive to eat or drink in nearby towns without ordinances.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Raw: Plane Lands on New York Highway Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: 16 Killed in Gaza Market Strike Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Wisc. Twins Celebrate a Century of Laughter LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Bull Run Comes to Middle America Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Raw: Divers, Snorkelers at Undersea 'Concert'
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010